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National Safe Boating Week aims for more safety certifications



National Safe Boating Week, which begins Saturday, May 17th, provides a not-to-be-missed opportunity for boaters to get a boating safety certification, says leading online educator To encourage boaters to sign up before summer boating season, is lowering the cost of its by $5 during National Safe Boating Week, which runs until May 23rd, 2014.


“Recent statistics confirm that education significantly lowers the risk of a serious boating accident or fatality,” says Kerry Moher, VP of and a former member of the NASBLA Education Standards Panel. “To get more boaters to complete a safety course before summer, we’re lowering the cost of our online course during National Safe Boating Week.”


Students who register at between May 15th and May 23rd, and who complete their course by the end of May 2014, will receive $5 off their online boating safety certification. is encouraging state agencies, marinas, and other boating organizations to spread the word about the campaign.


U.S. Coast Guard statistics back up the importance of taking a safe boating course. Of the more than 700 fatalities in 2011, only 7% occurred on a boat where the operator had taken a NASBLA-approved boating safety course.


“With an approved online course like, it takes about three hours to get your safety certification, such as a boater education card or boating license. It’s three hours that can make all the difference,” concludes Moher.


To sign up for the online course or to find out more about state-by-state education requirements, visit



Master Gardeners clean up Extension Office


Pickens Master Gardeners get their yardwork on at the Pickens County Extension Office.

     "I think we've widened the road  several feet," joked one Pickens Master Garderner who, along with employees of the Pickens County Extension Office spent Wednesday morning pruning overgrown rosmeary and rose bushes

Solar power is “just plain smart,” says Pickens resident

The benefits of going solar explained

    A shot taken from a video of Todd Smith explaining his solar power set-up at his Jasper home. Follow this link to the Progress' YouTube channel to watch the video.

 By Todd J. Smith
      Two weeks ago I finally flipped the switch on my newly installed 4 KW (4,000 watt) solar system.  It was

Georgia’s unemployment rate unchanged at 7.0 percent in April

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 7.0 percent, unchanged from March. However, the rate was significantly lower than in April a year ago when it was 8.3 percent. 
    “We had very strong job growth in April, as our employers created 41,300 new jobs, which is the largest March to April increase since 2005,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “And, to make things even better, more jobseekers are entering the labor force and getting hired. This is a stark contrast to what we’re seeing nationally with hundreds of thousands of people leaving the labor force.” The U.S. Department of Labor announced last week that 806,000 people left the nation’s work force in April.

Water park plans move ahead


    An artist rendering of the proposed water park resort planned near Antioch Church Road on Highway 515. Local officials who heard presentations and met privately with developers earlier this week indicated that this project has moved from sounding farfetched to something likely to happen.

    Local officials are expressing optimism that a proposed $148 million water park resort near Antioch Church Road on Highway 515 will locate here following several presentations to different groups and during private meetings with developers.
    Economic Developer Gerry Nechvatal told more than 400 members of the chamber of commerce Tuesday morning that he is “optimistic that you will see equipment at a job site.”
   See our print or online editions for the rest of this article.

Previous stories on Water park

Water Park looking at Pickens County (original press release) April 2, 2013

Talking Rock Water Park discussed - April 3, 2013

Editorial: Whether a water park or something else, Pickens economy needs boost - May 1, 2013

Water Park Developers to speak publicly -- May 7, 2014